Sunday, January 20, 2013

Doing More. Dreaming Big.

Whether you make new year resolutions/goals or not, I would like to challenge you in something, this year.

Give to a greater capacity. 

I just finished reading an amazing (must-read) book, called "In a Heartbeat: Sharing the power of Cheerful Giving". It is written by the adoptive parents of Michael Oher, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy (The Blind Side).

I am not being paid to do this. I got this book for Christmas and was glued to every page. This family did much more than adopt a teenage boy who had slipped through the cracks of a broken foster care system. Their lives have been an act of giving, before and after Michael.

They write (Page 262):
When we see children - children who have previously been invisible - and see them not just with our eyes but with our hearts and in our souls, it's one of the most critical gifts we can give. If Michael, with all of his potential could go missing, then how many other bright, wonderful kids are slipping through the cracks because people don't notice them?
It's not just about adoption. Yes, we need more people to rise up and fill a need. Yes, if one family from every church in America agreed to take one child we could eliminate the registry of waiting children. But, what about the kids that never land in foster care? What about the kids whose neglect isn't as visible?

There are so many parts in this book that moved me to tears. One was when Michael is a freshmen in college and his parents tell him to bring home any of his teammates that don't have family or homes in which to spend the holidays. Michael brings home 25 players. Their spirit of giving is contagious and was built into their children. I am so inspired to reach further and love harder.

Sometimes Ben and I talk about being "done", once we adopt a little sister or sisters for the boys, but then on days like, today, Ben will say, "Do you really ever envision us not raising kids?" We were talking about what life would be like one day when the kids are all grown up. We don't foresee us having an empty house. There's too much to do. Too many babies (big and small) that need love.

We have been house hunting for nearly a year. Our little condo has served us for ten years, but it has reached capacity! We have had two realtors and both would tell you that I am high maintenance. It's more than just a home to me. I am looking for a sanctuary. A place to hold as many beds as possible. There has to be enough room for our kids to be loud and crazy and have room to explore. There has to be room to hold impromptu worship services and prayer sessions. I need a dining room table that seats a minimum of ten. Because I only have a glimpse at what God is doing, I have to be prepared. Of course, my list of must-haves must also fit within a tight budget. But, that's where I trust God.

Our pastor once said, "If you can accomplish your dreams on your own, they're not big enough." That word burrowed deep into the secret place of my heart. I am asking God for BIG things. I am asking him to use me in ways that don't make sense in the natural. I want to be a supernatural giver. Every area of my life.

Won't you join me, this year, in looking for extra ways to give (and tell me about them when you find them!)?

Let's see what God will do.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Rebekah sent Ty a photobook for Christmas. It's Ty's favorite gift.

Every day he says, "Mom, can I look at my special book?" or "I'm going to put my special book in my special box."

Ty and I have gone to a deeper level in our mother/son relationship.

It was during the week of Christmas. We were sitting on the couch and I was dialing Rebekah when I said, "Come here, babe, we're gonna call Miss Rebekah."

He looked right in my eyes and said, "Mom, I'm going to call her Mom, now, because she's my first mom."

If words could, physically, touch my heart, his did.

All our moments came rushing to me...

I was not envious or insecure or hurt.

I was proud.

In that instant, my baby boy stood as tall as a man. He was secure in my love for him and expressing his love for Rebekah.

I know my job is far from done, but in that moment I felt it was.

Despite our weakness and impatience and miss-the-mark days, Ben and I managed to teach our son how to love beyond himself.

In just a few weeks we will board a plane to Colorado and my sweet Ty will get to call Rebekah "Mom", in person.

The thought brings tears to my eyes.

I will never forget the day we stood in Rebekah's apartment. I watched her say goodbye to her son and kiss every part of his exposed skin. We hugged each other, tightly...afraid to let go. With tears in our eyes, we stood still for a moment and I said, "I will thank you with his life."

She nodded, overtaken with sadness, and let us go.

All of the kind words in the world could never thank Rebekah, enough, for allowing us to raise her son. I am hoping this visit, more than the ones that have been before it, will prove our love for her through Ty's thoughtful words and tender heart.

I know it's our story, but somedays I still can't believe I'm living it.

My mama heart is so full of love for my family.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Vacation

We had a really fantastic Christmas with the boys. I wouldn't call it relaxing...but life isn't such with two three year olds running around! We went snow tubing, swimming at the aquatic center, experienced our first 3D movie, stayed up late, spent our mornings in pjs, and had hours of quality time with family and friends. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the week.

One of our goals for 2013 is to find the boys a little sister. We feel settled...and ready. I got right to work on that, today, when I emailed our Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange, inquiring about three precious brothers that I have been praying for since I saw them months ago. I was afraid they were going to be split up for waiting so long. I received a call back within a couple of hours letting me know that a family had just been identified. I rejoiced for the boys and said a little prayer of thankfulness. The thought of mothering five boys under the age of 3 was a little daunting!

We are excited for the new year and waiting in anticipation to see how God will use us!